Today officially marks the start of Summer: a great time to refresh and add some colour to your home. So if you’re searching for seasonal accessories to brighten your outdoor or indoor space then hunt no more: our collection of hand block printed homewares will have you dreaming of long lazy, hazy Summer days and they’re perfect for adding a touch of hand crafted beauty to any interior. Mixing and matching block print with textiles of different colours and textures creates an individual, relaxed style. Our block printed products are created for us in Jaipur using traditional block printing techniques (as tried and tested by ibbi co-founders Eliza and Anna on their travels through Rajasthan earlier this year!) If you love our table linen, quilts and home accessories then we thought you might like to see a little about how they are made:
ibbi co-founder Eliza: block printing in Jaipur
And ibbi co-founder Anna block printing too!
The process of block printing has been practiced in Rajasthan for over 500 years, introduced by the Chhipa community from the village of Bagru, an area now famous for its vegetable dye block printing. The physical Sheesham wooden blocks are meticulously carved by hand, with each colour in the design carved in a separate block. The outline block or the ‘rekh’ is usually the most intricate. Once the colours have been chosen and have been poured in to wooden trays, the process of stamping the pattern on to the stretched cotton fabric begins. Each colour pattern is stamped on to the fabric individually by the Printing Master and the tiny irregularities, the subtle gaps or overlaps are a beautiful reminder of the intricate process of creating this iconic product. The block printing villages are renowned for the rhythmic ‘tock-tock’ sound of the wood blocks stamping patterns on to fabric. A wonderful reminder to all visitors of the significance of this stunning artisan work.
It’s almost Easter and with all this glorious Spring sunshine we’re getting ready for a long weekend of celebrations. We hope you have a fabulous Easter! At ibbi, we’ll be:
Eating: freshly baked hot cross buns, straight from the oven. Too mouthwateringly droolingly good for words (and possibly the only thing better than choccie eggs at Easter?)
Shopping: because who doesn’t love an Easter offer! and happy news: some of our absolute personal favourites will be up to 50% off this Easter so you’ll be able to add a splash of cool colour to your home for less!
Decorating: we’ll adorn our Easter table with all things simple and beautiful: bunches of fresh Spring flowers picked straight from the garden, pretty painted ceramic bowls piled high with choccie eggs, lots and lots of colourful candles and lanterns too with small tea lights (candlelight wins every time) . We’ll merrily mix and match our table linen to create a beautiful individual dining style. Plain linens and block prints go beautifully together. It’s the small details that can have the greatest impact. You really don’t have to think big at all. Mix it up every time.
Drinking: Orange and Rosemary Mimosas (delicious for Easter: make a syrup from sugar and water and then add rosemary sprigs and orange peel..allow to cool. Add a splash of fresh lime and a squeeze of orange juice to the strained syrup and add to chilled prosecco. Garnish with rosemary and a twist of orange and lime peel. Simply too good!)
Going: absolutely nowhere. Isn’t it great to stay put if you can? Enjoy some wonderful home time with family and friends. You can even encourage them to help you dig the garden too!
Have a wonderful long weekend!
Pictured: Hand painted ceramics from £12, colourful candles £2 each, inlay candle holders from £17, block printed napkins £20 for a pack of 5. Check out our glass and brass lanterns too: from £9.95. All available at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk
When it comes to Mother’s Day we all know what makes us melt: the little things, every time. Give us the handmade card with scrawled message, the wee gift or the bunch of flowers picked straight from the garden and we’re made up. What is slightly more controversial is the whole breakfast in bed issue. For many the very thought of scratchy toast bits between the sheets leaves us in a cold sweat. But we ibbi co-founders (Anna, Eliza and Claire) are all huge fans of this kindest of gestures and so as we approach Mothering Sunday, we thought we’d celebrate in-bed eating by sharing some of our favourite breakfasts in bed. And if it’s served on a wobbly tray swilling with spilt tea, orange juice, fruit smoothie or possibly all three, then all the better. Here’s what we love: our top 5:
Blueberry Bircher muesli, made with greek yoghurt, rolled oats, coarsely grated apple, hazelnuts, blueberries, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. (Anna’s favourite, which she would like followed by deliciously fresh sour dough toast and homemade marmalade and a pot of piping hot coffee. She’d also like her laptop, her Fitbit and The Sunday Times and Telegraph)
Smoked salmon with avocado on rye with lots and lots of lemon juice and cracked black pepper (for Claire, plus lots of coffee and the Archers omnibus)
Nutella stuffed crepes and a pot of fresh mint tea. (for Eliza..plus lots of peace, so she can finish reading her current favourite book: Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf.. and all the Sunday papers, plus the dogs walked.. and the hens fed.. )
French toast with maple syrup and crispy bacon ( a winner every time and difficult for most to destroy)
Strawberry basil bruschetta on toasted baguette, spread with greek yoghurt, chopped strawberries and fresh basil, finished with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and lots of black pepper (delicious but comes with a severe crumb warning)
So Happy Mother’s day! Enjoy breakfast. Enjoy your day. And good luck with those crunchy crumbs.
Many of us may be sick and tired of boring old beige but apparently it’s still the safe shades of oyster, stone and cream that remain the nation’s favourites. Which is sad because although people are scared of making mistakes with colour, bland interiors can be very uninteresting. So let’s have less of the snoring boring and more of the creative colouring. And when it comes to adding colour to your home here’s our to top 5 favourite tips collected from some of our favourite British interior designers:
Be free and full of gay abandon the it comes to colour. Why stick to one colour palette? Look at nature for inspirational colour combos: take the happy and uplifting greens and lilacs in the Spring, or bright blue skies at sunset splashed with vivid oranges and reds. Colour will make your home more interesting and add intrigue to your interiors.
Experiment. See what works for you. Deep reds create warmth and a convivial atmosphere. Blues are relaxing and perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and wherever else in your home you head to unwind. Dark greys and blacks create glamour and sophistication and purples lend a luxurious feel too. And green is smart, harmonious, lush and hopeful and in the bedroom it’s fabulous combined with pink.
Why are ceilings always white? Try painting them the same colour as your walls. Your walls will look less stumpy and it will help create that stunning, sumptuous atmosphere you’re looking for.
If you’ve reservations about splashing colour across your walls (and ceilings) then why not simply add a spot of colour with accessories instead? Think bold lampshades, patterned throws, rugs, and colourful cushions and bowls. It’s fun and it’s the small touches that create instant personality and tell your story.
Remember when it comes to accessories, make sure you combine the old with the new. All new looks generic and lacks character. Small vintage touches gives your home spirit. Be bold..and have fun with your home!
There’s currently 25% off our colourful recycled bowls and trays until Sunday 26th February 2017. Simply use the voucher code africa1 when you shop with us at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.
There’s already an Autumn chill in the air and don’t you think it’s a perfect time to be thinking about adding a touch more style, warmth and luxury to your bedroom space. Our latest Indian block printed quilts are a perfect addition to throw on the bed when the temperature starts to fall and they look so pretty when layered with soft linens, crisp cottons or cosy knitted throws. Much as we love a splash of the vibrant, we think quilts should be rather soothing in colour but they look wonderful, scattered with colourful rich velvet and cool vintage kantha cushions. Happy styling.. and stay cosy! And if you’d like to learn more about the traditional art of block printing fabric, have a look at the info attached.
So it’s farewell to the Summer and time to cosy on down and embrace the Autumn! And as textiles are such a quick and easy way to add comfort to any room, we’re delighted with our latest collection of little vintage kantha quilts (queen size kanthas arriving very soon too..we’ll keep you posted!). Kantha quilts have been created in Bangladesh and West Bengal for over 500 years. They’re made by stitching together layers of vintage saris with a ‘kantha’ running stitch, often in a bold contrasting coloured cotton thread and every kantha is entirely unique, oozing cool style and timeless charm! They’re great for uni rooms as they’re very easy to maintain and are machine washable too. So be bold with your hues and get ready to drape away: you can throw little kanthas over your tables, chairs and sofas and queen size kanthas are fabulous as chic bedspreads. You may not want to colour up your entire home but you can always dip your toes in by adding a few colourful hints here and there. Take a peek…
We’re not the biggest gift givers at ibbi but we do love a Mother’s Day treat! So just in case you’re struggling to find a small something to help you celebrate on March 6th, here’s a few suggestions. We’ve chosen some of our favourite products with interesting stories, all made by artisans in marginalised communities, who we like to support. Read on for a bit of ibbi inspiration..
Why not look at:
Our hand painted espresso cups: they’re pretty, available in lots of gorgeous colours, have come all the way from South Africa and because they’re hand painted, each is unique. March 6th is definitely the day to ditch the old cracked mug with amusing slogan and serve the first delicious cup of coffee of the day in something seriously pretty!
Our metal trays: have a look at our amazing quirky metal trays. They’re available in different colours and sizes, they’re fair trade and hand crafted in Morocco, right on the edge of the Sahara. They’re stylish, unique and pretty indestructible too! Pop coffee, hot croissants, the Sunday papers and a small bunch of something handpicked from the garden on to one of these and your perfect start to Mother’s Day will be sorted.
Our baskets: our beautiful fair trade Kiondo sisal baskets from Kenya are always a hit. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they’re great for those endless bits and bobs we all seem to have. Ideal for storing veggies, wooden spoons and spatulas in the kitchen, cotton wool balls in the bathroom. house keys, car keys, dog treats. dog leads, waste paper, kindling, endless toiletries..in fact you name it and our baskets will sort it.
Our hand painted ceramic bottles: they’re perfect for oils or great simply as stand alone decorative accessories. They look stunning when grouped together and will give your window sill, kitchen island or dining table a beautiful splash of colour!
A framed photo: whether it’s of you, the kids or your beautiful pets, a framed photograph is always special. And as we’re always looking for products with a story we especially love our recycled metal photo frames which have been a firm ibbi favourite since we discovered them last year. Lots of colours and sizes available and they look particularly good grouped together to create a stylish gallery on any wall space. So: wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, have a great day on the 6th and Happy Mother’s Day from us all! And remember, we’ve 20% off until March 6 2016. Simply use the voucher code: mum